ABC’s Theresa Cook, Ariane de Vogue and Jason Ryan report: The Justice Department released more than 2300 internal documents and e-mails Friday morning, the fifth installment of internal documents the department has turned over to Congress since March 13.
The documents illustrate some of the events and plans leading up to the firing of eight U.S. attorneys last year, a move that has caused a political firestorm.
Some of the documents in this latest set show more information than the past releases. The Justice Department had redacted earlier copies of certain papers and e-mails. Some of the e-mails now name candidates the department considered placing in the spots opened up after the firings. The possible candidates included several people with close ties to Alberto Gonzales and the Justice Department.
The move comes days before Attorney General Alberto Gonzales heads to Capitol Hill to explain the firings, and his department’s handling of the process.
Previously released e-mails and documents — more than 3000 total — detailed the events leading up to the firings, and indicated the plans started as early as January 2005, before Gonzales had been confirmed as attorney general.
The growing criticism over the Justice Department’s handling of the matter has lead to questions about Gonzales’ ability to lead the department. Two of his closest advisors have stepped down in the last month amid the controversy.
The House Judiciary Committee has posted the documents on its website: